Jump to content
C4 Forums | Control4

Hirez music playback and Control4


Recommended Posts

You know what guys

I'm fed up with multiroom digital players that are 100% dependant on network streaming playback

Seriously Sonos can't get this absolutely 100% pristine and spot on with 16 bit files.

What I mean by this, is an experience that is 100% guaranteed to "play the entire album" from start to finished with no pops, drop outs, skips whatever. Every time. 100% like playing a CD

Week in week out. Go away for a month? Come back?..Lost the NAS? That's the issue. EVERY time. Bang. "Just Works".

Accepting 95-99% chance of an mp3 music track being played without these issues, might be fine for the ipod/apple airplay crowd. But it simply will not cut it for high quality listening..

So Linn has tried with 24/192 files? Sorry. But the same story. Even worse, they are dependant on 3rd parties. Big mistake IMHO for such expensive gear.

The solution?

Well I'm planning to go back to players with inbuilt storage. Because this tried and tested method has been so rock solid for me with the Dunes and movies.

And for Hi Rez?

I'm currently investigating for my primary listening area the Byrston BDP-2. It's a brand new upgrade of their rock solid BDP-1. You can get this new Bryston sorted with a SSD. And it has serial, IR and ipad control

And for multi room: the Autonomic Controls mms.5AV

And please. No comments about J (youknowwhat). Or the expense. Sod the expense. I want a 100% no frills always works experience.

What's the point if you have tens of thousand tied up in high quality hifi amps and speakers and are being continually let down by the "player". (aka by geezer's like me as the "transport") Flaky wifi? Or changes made to Control4. Or a network issue. Or your computer is a bit slow processing something else. Or new "update requests" flashing on the screen all the time. Or.... all these affect the whole experience.

If anybody has any better ideas to improve the failsafe experience of listening to 24/192 and other hi rez files, preferably via a stable Control4 driver..I'd love you to post them here.

Suggestions? Other players?

The absolute requirements are:

24/192. Internal storage. Either HDD but preferably SDD. Control4 driver (or the ability to make one quickly by IR) And music not streamed or played from a computer or NAS.

So please. No J...r :)


Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've not had the issues you've had with Sonos performing so poorly but anything, and that's anything, that is not hardwired can have occasional issues even a cd/DVD player though less likely. Anything computer can break or have issues

Is every room you have a listening room? Personally I'd do a record player and a quality CD/DVD/Blu-Ray player in a listening room and then the MMS-5a(v) for my distributed audio.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the reply.

Spot on. :)

I have 2 "quality listening" areas/zones. One better than the other. The other 8 or so are fine with mp3..so Sonos not being so 100% perfect is tolerable in these areas.

That is the key issue.

You have hit the nail right on the head.

It's combining hi quality listening areas with the rest of the house..all in the one networkable framework where this falls down.

Sonos can't do it. Because they don't do 24bit. To be honest, having pestered them for near on 5 plus years on the lack of 24bit hi-rez, I think they have made the correct decision to NOT go down this path! Because It's simply not possible to get it 100% right! There is a fair chance folks who go down the 24/192 path are likely to be going to want to play those files thru expensive gear. So why go down this path and upset them if you can't get it 100% right?

On reflection Sonos has made exactly the correct call on this.

Yeh I know Sonos can be "hardwired". I'm well aware of this. The 64 million dollar question is will this solve all the issues? My call is it's better to move on and spend the money on a simpler set up.

As for Linn? I don't know. The hardware is obviously capable. THey are trying to roll out a Sonos like 24/192 experience, But as I said it's network dependant as well and let down by third parties all the time

Last year in frustration I had an audition of the Bryston BDP-1. And actually got to speak to James (the owner) about this very issue. We had a very long chat on the whole philosophy of this.

I think what's happened in the development of so called music "streaming" solutions, is that networking technology has got ahead of the practical issues. The stuff that never seems to quite get there at "the coal face".

It was so beautiful to listen to that Bryston play a 24/192 track straight off a USB stick. No network. No computer connected. No interference. Just 100% perfect playback.

So in essence the philosophy of James at Bryston has been to replicate that record player/cd experience you talk about in the the "listening room" with a USB stick. Now probably he has added DLNA and async USB to the BDP-2 to beef up sales. Because everyone want's this right? The point I'm making is they can have this. I've tried for over 5 years now on this and am yet to be 100% happy. That is 100% happy in the primary listening area.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

^ Historically and Philosophically speaking, what Sonos replaces is the old "listen to the radio" experience from decades ago. You used to have music "streamed" via a radio station. If you wanted "party" mode you would tune all the various players to the one station..be they individual boxes or "tuners" attached to your hifi.

If a bit of interference happend or whatever..no problem. You expected that because it was just the radio right?

Sonos duplicates this with a way better, more clever, select what you want, more friendly GUI etc..

The big mistake is to expect multiroom network dependant music streaming to duplicate a hiend experience.

That's been my mistake the last 5 or so years. I've tried. I've wished. But on reflection it's never been practically capable of this...it's still not there yet..

The real question is will it ever be?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ever? Likely.

The big issue is combining two polar opposites in one combination - high quality and "cheap" convenience. Frankly, AAC files on a good C4 controller direct to an amplifier to wired speakers is the best option right now (within a C4 enviroment and looking JUST at stored media) - if it weren't for the media management.. uhm ..limitations. The management doesn't bother me much as I only use my own ripped CDs (which is what the database was designed for in the first place) but I can't deny it's overall outdated approach.

This is why I still buy CDs/vinyl and still use my tube CD player/record player on my tube amplifier to my handcrafted custom speakers (I used to work for an audiophile grade speaker manufacturer).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

^ Well I'm so glad you guy's replied to this thread..

I thought I was the only one who believed this hirez streaming stuff aint there yet..

One starts to get a complex. Like somehow they've missed something. Or are now passed it.. :rolleyes:

BTW. Is there a driver for that Bryston? And what does it do?..It has serial control..

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I thought I was the only one who believed this hirez streaming stuff aint there yet..

Why would you ever think you're alone in this (or that this opinion is limited to non dealers ;))? I suppose "quality" in music is - to a degree at least - a matter of opinion. But that goes both ways.

I do MP3 distribution across my house for parties or daily back-ground music - but I have an area where I "retreat" to listen to the real deal. To me this is no different than saying it's nice to view a live concert on TV or

DVD/Blu-Ray for convenience - but it sure isn't the same thing as being there.

Wouldn't say it was missed or passed - it's just a matter of priorities - and the market for "cheap" (Not that an iPod or a pair of "beats" heaphones aren't costing an arm and a leg) convenience is bigger. To me neither unreasonable (from a bizz standpoint) OR surprising. But it means that - for now - I'll just hang on to some of the "old fashioned" ways - and happily incorporate it in my own situation as well as any clients that are interested.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I thought I was the only one who believed this hirez streaming stuff aint there yet..

Why would you ever think you're alone in this (or that this opinion is limited to non dealers ;))?

Well. You pay good money. You live with your decision. You experiment and tinker because things aren't right. Then you put up with the deficiencies. A few years go by. In the interim' date=' you visit websites, and have multiple conversations with dealers, and other third parties, only to hear back from those in the know, that it must be *your* problem. You then start to "justify" the decision. It's not the products problem. It must be the third party or whatever. Or I'm running from a mac, not a NAS. Or it's my network...it doesn't matter what the excuse is...Well that must be the problem? Right? I mean that original gear cost 4K to put together.. so it *must* be my problem..

It's like a bad stock investment decision. You start to justify the original decision. Instead of looking analytically just what is going wrong. Or considering that maybe there is something fundamentally wrong with the entire concept. [i']Does anybody stop and consider that perhaps networks aren't suitable for this sort of thing? Yeh they might be OK for computer files, or internet sessions..But maybe, just maybe (in this case streaming hirez and networked multiroom music) it is foolish to rely on so many third parties to achieve a desirable outcome. Switch makers. Router makers. Dealers. Network engineers. etc etc whatever...... There are just too many random events that can be added to a large home network. As random as a customer going out and swapping in a different switch, or a third party changing some firmware, or a neighbour adding some wireless interference..

The list of possible random events is endless. So again I ask. Does anybody stop and consider that perhaps networks aren't suitable for this sort of thing?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Relying on third - fouth - fifth party has it's merits in a way. No single entity can do it all - or if they could, everyone would complain about monopoly positions. With many different people working on all this from many different positions things simply wouldn't be where they are - flaws or no flaws.

Think of what you could do (for what price) 10-20 years ago vs what's here right now. Heck I remember the "wonder" of not having to walk up to my TV to change to one of my 20 channels....

Also, part of the problem is the (general) consumer - including me you and everyone else - wanting everything NOW - and as "well priced" as possible. This causes a push to new heights on "old" infrastructure, with great results and no few failures.

Are there people stopping to consider if something completely new is in order? Sure, lots of them. Fiber is out there (and has been for a very long time) with much higher capabilities - but it wasn't ready "NOW" (and was expensive) when it came to be, so it got trampled over and largely discarded in the ditch over that which was in most people's houses already and was considered a "safer" bet - in no small part because the demand to "make it work - NOW" was there from the consumer side.

When you indefinetely stretch the possibilities, don't be surprised if the thread snaps at one point.

But enough philosofical ranting for one night ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...